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Message Icon Topic: Question about Reversion, Shahada Post Reply Post New Topic
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daewynn
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Quote daewynn Replybullet Topic: Question about Reversion, Shahada
    Posted: 27 January 2014 at 9:03pm

Assallamu Alaikum,

First off, I should tell a bit about myself: I am an american woman of a Seventh-Day Adventist upbringing, though I was disillusioned with Christianity for a number of reasons at a very early age. The reasons were typical for many Islamic reverts -- the trinity being the biggest issue. Logically I could never reconcile the concept that the God I prayed to daily was one but also three.
The other major conflict between my heart and the bible was the idea of original sin and a need for Jesus' (PBUH) sacrifice for salvation.

The day an elder told me that people who did not hear the message of Jesus (PBUH) would find themselves in hellfire was the day my heart left Christianity.

So from there I soul-searched. I read about many religions, and started forming my own thoughts on the creator. In my mind a creator was loving, kind but he also held evil people accountable for their deeds. Evil men could not simply confess their evils and be forgiven, only to find themselves sin again because repentance was a get out of jail free card. In my mind intention to be a good person and practice good deeds was they key to salvation if there was salvation to be had.
My creator did not need anyone to intercede on my behalf -- I could pray to God, and he would hear my prayers. I could ask forgiveness, and if God granted it through his own mercy, then that was between myself and my creator.

I also believed in my heart that there was only one God, not many gods.

Fast forward to about 7 years ago - I met Muslims, and began to read the Qu'ran. I was overwhelmed with the logic, reason and beauty of Islam. I could find nothing that contradicted my own established thoughts on God. After nearly a year of deliberation, I said my Shahada.

I am very sad to say that perhaps my heart and mind were not quite ready to truly submit to Allah (SWT) I tried, but felt frustration because the people that introduced me to Islam did not exemplify the spirit of Islam.
I found myself becoming cynical, because I could not separate imperfect examples of a religion I found beautiful. This then led to a seed of doubt. That doubt grew, as did my attempts to continue to grow as a Muslim. After months of frustration, my resolve waned, and I eventually found myself returning to my life -- Islam not forgotten, but my worship returned to the things I knew before.

my ties to the community were gone and I felt I had no one to guide me and answer my questions and doubts.

During all of this, my personal life was in shambles. My fiance at the time was atheist, and any mention of Islam was a point that could not be reconciled between us. For many reasons, we separated, but I did not ever return to a faith that I truly loved.
Allah (SWT) was not forgotten, nor my love for reading the Qu'ran. I just didn't practice.

7 years later.... my now fiance picked up my Qu'ran a few weeks ago. He had spent many months in Israel, and there he had come to appreciate the Palestinians and Muslims he met. He knew about my love of Islam (though not that I secretly considered myself a Muslim) His reading led us to a local Masjid (I live in a new state)

We have been attending classes together , and I have been reading Qu'ran. It was not long before he made the commitment to himself to say his Shahada - Alhumdullilah! I have found a partner in life who sees what I see in Islam and is willing to walk this path with me. I cannot express how thankful I am that Allah (SWT) has guided me back to where I have wanted to be for so long. He has blessed me so many ways.

A very large part of me feels tremendous guilt for allowing my own weaknesses to cause doubt about this path, but I pray that Allah (SWT) can forgive me. I truly feel that at the time I said my Shahada I was desperate to connect with my creator - when so many bad things happened in my life, my faith was not shaken, but my resolve was. I honestly feel I was not strong enough, and I did not rely on Allah (SWT) guide me through it.

That being said, just because I didn't rely on Allah (SWT) does not mean he did not guide me. I might have forgotten my duties as a Muslim, but Allah (SWT) never forgot me.

I realized I have prefaced this question with a long story, but my question is simply this:

I now HAVE the resolve to follow the path, and a partner what will walk it together with me. I plan on asking the Imam when my fiance says his Shahada, but I wanted to ask here first (perhaps I am nervous)

Should I say my shahada again? I plan on being up front with the Imam about my previous experience, but to be truthful I would appreciate any thoughts or words of encouragement.

I have many concerns about how I will integrate Islam into my life - hijab, prayer (I work 65 hours a week in an environment that is in and of itself difficult) and etc... though Insha'Allah I will find a way to blend my obligations with my life.

If you took the time to read this long diatribe, I thank you. Any thoughts are welcome.
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Abu Loren
 
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Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 28 January 2014 at 3:01am
Wa Alaikkum Asalaam

First of all I just want to say that Islam is perfect but the people who practice it are not, unfortunately. Also there are people who call themselves Muslims but they are not, I am talking about people who are born into a Muslim family but do not pray, fast etc but if you ask them to which religion they belong to they say Islam. I don't think so.
I hear stories of reverts being rejected by some Muslims and offered no help whatsoever as they see them as not true Muslims.

Sorry for starting off so negatively....

I am so happy for you that you have made a connection with your Creator, this is no chance meeting. All of us who long for the truth and find are guided by the Almighty Himself otherwise there is no way that we would find Him.

I too could not understand Christianity from a young age and once I read the Qur'an I knew that this is the Truth. After taking the Shahada my faith grew and is till growing every day. Every time I read the Qur'an and the Hadiths my faith gets stronger and stronger.

Regarding your Shahada I would recommend that you take it again because many, if not all, scholars agree that if one does not pray five times a day then they have left the fold of Islam.

If you have any questions then please ask any questions here as there are so many wonderful knowledgeable people here.

I recommend a wonderful site for reading the Qur'an and it has a choice of six English translations and has a link to sunnah.com which has all the Hadiths of the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).

Finally I want to leave you with a verse from the Qur'an that is appropriate.

Sahih International
So whoever Allah wants to guide - He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide - He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe.
6:125
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 28 January 2014 at 8:20am
It isn't necessary in Islam to "confess" your sins to anyone other than Allah, and in some cases even blameworthy. Allah is the one who forgives our shortcomings. No need to re-new your declaration of faith. Simply begin doing those rituals required of all Muslims. Welcome!
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daewynn
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Quote daewynn Replybullet Posted: 28 January 2014 at 4:02pm
Thank you for the thoughts. I am visiting the Masjid this evening for a class, and I will speak to the Imam insha'Allah.

I appreciate the replies!
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Abu Loren
 
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Quote Abu Loren Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2014 at 2:53am
The website I was talking about is www.quran.com.
:)
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daewynn
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Quote daewynn Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2014 at 5:16pm
Thank you! I will look tonight. I have several different Qu'rans,but like having various translations available, especially if a surah isn't quite making sense, or I am struggling with a concept or idea and need clarification.
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